On the morning of March 19th 1989 the phone in our apartment rang. Not the most unusual thing but the fact my step dad Al was on the phone was. Mom had only ever called a half dozen times since she moved to California and Al never spoke to me on the phone. His voice was unemotional as he informed me that my Mom had a heart attack and that she was at the hospital where they where working on her. He told me he would call me back in a little bit and let me know how she was doing. I hung up the phone and started to cry. I could hardly tell Kari what was wrong. She hugged me but I knew this wasn’t good. It wasn’t going to be good. Kari called Chad and asked him to come over.

     I have no idea how long it was between the two calls but it seemed like forever and yet no time at all. A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. When the phone started to ring I didn’t want to answer it. I knew what they were going to say. I didn’t want to hear it. I went into the bedroom and Kari followed me in. Chad had arrived and was in the living room. When I answered the phone Al said those words I didn’t want to hear. My Mom had died. I can’t tell you how the conversation went after that, how he told me, how long the call was or anything else. A haze surrounded my brain. My world was falling down. My vision was dark, I think I screamed. I know I cried. I felt numb and in pain at the same time. I ran around, arms flapping, tears flowing, Kari following trying to calm me down. What now? What do we do? What do I do?

     I think Kari took care of some details but I’m not sure. One of us talked to my Mom’s mother and within hours of her death we decided that my sister was to come back to Fargo and live with us. After all Al said right away that we needed to take her back because he wasn't going to take care of her. We made life changing decisions in minutes and without a clear mind. Knowing of my Dad’s mental state my grandma said that my sister was not to live with my Dad. We all agreed and I suggested that she live with us. Kari and I had two bedrooms and at least what remained of our family could all be in the same city.  


What a beautiful witness of what God can do. - Judy Siegle  

​​We were all blessed by your honesty and faithfulness. - Pastor Paul Nynas 

Growing Up Nobody

One man's true story of overcoming life's struggles and disappointments.

Chapter - "Dad"

Chapter - "Mama"

     Three days later, on December 28th I heard a lot of commotion upstairs. My sister had called the ambulance as dad was having trouble breathing. They took him away and we made a few phone calls and then went to the hospital. Lori and I talked to a nurse outside the room. She told us that they didn’t think he would live much longer. I held back my tears as hard as I could as Lori held my hand. I knew I was faced with the last few moments I would ever have with my dad. This man was so mean to me. He never thanked me. He never said he was proud. He never told me he loved me. How was I to handle this? Part of me wanted to tell him off one last time. Grab him, shake him, and yell, “Why? Why were you such an ass? Why don’t you care about anyone but yourself and why isn’t living for your children enough? You were suppose to raise me, protect me, teach me and love me!” But I knew that wouldn’t get me anywhere. I knew I had to be a bigger man.

I am so proud of this book. When you read this book you will see I open up about growing up in a home with dysfunction, being bullied in school, dealing with my fathers mental illness, the death of both my parents and my anger toward those who hurt me. But most of all it's a story of forgiveness. Not only those around me who hurt me or I thought could of helped me but myself. My story has given hope to those who have none and it shows that a simple act can change the course of someone's life.  Please enjoy the two previews below.


Tim "Timo" Olson

Motivator, Author, Speaker, Musician,